Elche CF, Relegation Relief
On a wet, windy, grey sky Saturday afternoon Elche CF faced Sevilla at home. The boys in Red had just suffered a moral crushing mid week extra time defeat at the feet of Barcelona, in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi final.
The first half was as uninspiring as the weather; damp, cold and without sunshine. Neither keeper was overly challenged. Sevilla enjoyed more possession, but Elche kept better form, both sides denying each other chances.
It was the action of the coaches which changed the game after half time. Sevilla's Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper and the Spanish National Coach who was sacked whilst at the 2018 world cup following the announcement of his agreement to join Real Madrid after the tournament, decided to make a triple substitution. His team did not respond according to plan, and Escriba's men seized their opportunities. Firstly Lucas Boye stole the ball in midfield, breaking through the line of three defenders only to have his shot deflected by the foot of Czech born Vaclick. The second opportunity was slickly executed. Carrillo passed to a crowded Fidel who after a quick glance, passed it across the goal to an unmarked Raul Guti to finish off with his right foot. Just 9 minutes later, Elche CF got their 2nd goal following a VAR referral. Carillo sent a header which bounced on the goal line travelling further inside the net before being caught and thrown out by Vaclick. Sevilla went into attacking mode, and Edgar Badia once again made several stunning saves, however he couldn't keep out De Jong well directed header.
A fantastic but well deserved result of 2-1 for the Franjiverdes which has lifted them out of the relegation zone, just in time for their journey to the capital to play Real Madrid on Saturday 13th March at 16:15.
Another bit of good news for the boys in green and white is the arrival of a talented Argentinian left winger and part time forward called Pablo Piatti. At 31 years old and 5'5'' he has played for Estudiantes, Almeria, Valencia, Espanyol and Toronto scoring 64 goals over 360 matches since 2006. His Wikipedia entry is rather promising, listing him as a 'dynamic, explosive and fleet–footed attacker, he is known for his turn of pace, which along with his dribbling technique enables him to get past opponents and make runs into the penalty area'.
As soon as spectators are allowed back into the stadiums, EuroTourGuide will once again be offering Coach Tours with Match Tickets to support Elche CF. Please sign up to receive your free newsletter on www.eurotourguide.com